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DesertFlyer
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United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:47 pm

So perhaps never is an overstatement, but with SFO as my home airport, United is currently my airline of choice. One of the best things I like about flying with UA is Channel 9. However I have literally yet to be on a flight in 2012 where it is enabled. I finally asked the crew on my flight JFK-SFO if they would mind asking the captain about it, and after asking, they said he doesn't want it enabled on this flight. Why are UA pilots doing this? It's one of the things that make their airline unique and add to the passenger experience.
 
N766UA
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:52 pm

Quoting DesertFlyer (Thread starter):
Why are UA pilots doing this?

Because it's an easy way to get in trouble if there's a company officer or FSDO guy in the back. It exposes them unduly.

I do like having it, though.
This Website Censors Me
 
kaitakfan
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:55 pm

A few reasons. CH 9 is at pilots discretion and being deep in contracted negotiations there is no need to go above and beyond the required job duties. No channel 9 is a common complaint that is being reported and its just a small tactic of the pilot group to show unity. And another reason is CH 9 has caused issues with passengers complaining about safety concerns when they really had no idea what was going on. So, for those that are all about CYA... off CH 9 goes. I imagine you will be hearing alot more live ATC when the new JCBA is voted in.
 
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DesertFlyer
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:24 am

It's times like this that remind me why I stopped training to be a commercial pilot after my PPL. Too many old, burnt out pilots in the industry. Especially at UA, AA, and US East.
 
frosty328
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:48 am

Quoting kaitakfan (Reply 2):
Because it's an easy way to get in trouble if there's a company officer or FSDO guy in the back. It exposes them unduly.

Company officer? I don't know what you mean by that. ALPA and the pilots would have never agreed to have Ch 9 if there weren't some protections for the crew.
 
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fanoftristars
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:35 am

Well you could always fly Delta, connect to the Wifi and listen to any air traffic control station with the LiveATC app. And even though DL says Gogo doesn't work under 10,000 feet, it works just fine all the way to landing   The only time gogo doesn't work is right after takeoff to 10,000 ft. It's a good secondary option. And WiFi is on every domestic plane with F class and soon to be on the international fleet.
"FLY DELTA JETS"
 
coairman
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:04 am

I flew UA969 from CLE to FLL on last Monday on a 757-2 which had channel 9 turned on. The pilots were most professional and had a great attitude. In fact the captain even mentioned it in his initially PA announcement about that channel 9 is available for listening.

I flew last spring from LAX to CLE on an Airbus which had channel 9 turned on.


All the flights on PMUA metal had channel 9 turned on.
The views I express are of my own, and not the company I work for.
 
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hhslax2
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:01 am

Lots of them don't turn it on, since they can't lie to passengers about delays (if they happen). I've had 2 occasions where pilots have said times they thought it would take to get through sorting out minor issues encountered on taxi to ATC, then told passengers over the intercom a time that was less than half what they told ATC. Both occasions, the times told to ATC were correct.
 
gaystudpilot
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:29 am

I keep it turned on.
 
AA737-823
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:56 am

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 9):

I keep it turned on.

I can't help but look at your user name, then look at your comment, and chuckle a little bit!  


Anyhow, I've found channel 9 to be active on about 50% of my UA flights this year. Granted, the last time I flew a legacyUA aircraft was in May. Since then, UAX and sCO.
 
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yowza
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:58 pm

I'm told that UA pilots often turn C9 off over Latin America to avoid alarming the passengers with some of the ATC exchanges they might hear in that particular airspace.

YOWza
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:05 pm

It's so interesting to read on here that people find Ch 9 shut off a lot. I've flown 32 flights on UA in the past year, so not a ton, but not too little either and it has been turned on on every sUA mainline aircraft I've been on.
Good goes around!
 
RICBWI
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:04 pm

From my experience from a lot of flying on UA this year it is on about 2/3 of the time. Perhaps conicidently, it seems to be on most often on my Airbus flights and off on the 757/767 flights.
 
futureualpilot
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:07 pm

Quoting hhslax2 (Reply 8):


Lying does nothing, but we don't always give you the full story because its unnecessary information. An average passenger that hears "there's an issue with the fuel totalizer" translates that I to we're gonna run out of fuel and plummet to fiery death. If we just say "it's a gauge malfunction" we're still keeping pax informed but without raising false alarm. Let the pros do their job, as a paying passenger you deserve my utmost attention to safety and professionalism but that does not entitle you to know every detail of some issue that pops up. Occasionally ATC requires additional details for their own purposes. As far as projected wait times, you don't have the information available to you that the pilots do, so give the, the benefit of the doubt. Between their ATC interaction and the cabin address, things could've changed. I've had it happen. Perhaps there was a range (I.e. 5-10min) and they gave ATC a worst case scenario for planning purposes while remaining optimistic for the passengers. I wasn't there, and you weren't in the flight deck so jumping straight to the crew lying to you does you, or them no favors.

As far as channel 9 goes, it's Captain's discretion and in today's litigious society where people overreact to all things aviation and airlines happily sell their pilots down river I don't blame crews for keeping it turned off. I don't know UA's policy or protections on Ch 9 usage but if I were given the option to make ATC comms available for my passengers, I would do so happily as long as I had solid protection in the event things went south. My career isn't worth Ma or Pa Kettle suing me because I said something to ATC they misunderstood, misinterpreted or blow out of proportion.

[Edited 2012-09-27 09:15:41]

[Edited 2012-09-27 09:16:33]

[Edited 2012-09-27 09:19:04]
Life is better when you surf.
 
Norcal773
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:49 pm

I agree, I've had it turned on on ONE UA flight in 2012 and I've flown them at least once a month. Disappointing but ooh well!

Quoting yowza (Reply 11):

I'm told that UA pilots often turn C9 off over Latin America to avoid alarming the passengers with some of the ATC exchanges they might hear in that particular airspace.

This actually brings up a good point. Earlier in the year, I flew a UA 747 HKG-SFO and where it was turned on from time we started taxiing but the pilot got into an argument with ground control in HKG after they asked UA to let an LH 744 go around us and take off then ATC tried to change take-off runway on UA which made the pilot very un-happy. Channel 9 was turned off for a few minutes while the argument continued (I assumed) because we sat there for 20 minutes while other planes went around us but they turned it back on right before take-off roll began. On the long flight to SFO, channel 9 was turned off over Japan Airspace but other than that it was on throughout. Good stuff, especially when we lined up to land on 28L at SFO with a company 757 lined up for 28R and ATC's warning not to pass the 757 and eventually had to do a go-around after the 747 couldn't slow down enough to stay behind the 757. LOVE Channel 9.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Channel 9 has been turned on for approximately 80% of my sUA flights. I've also found that politely asking the FA if it's available when they come around during boarding typically results in it being turned on. Obviously it's pilot discretion, but I've never had a problem on any of the A320 flights I've done with sUA. There's a female captain (older lady, her name slips me), that frequently does IAD-RDU... and she's always turned it on upon request if it wasn't on.

I doubt it's part of the flight deck checklist to look to see if it's turned on. My assumption is that if a pilot earlier in the day turns it off and nobody checks it, the ones who normally would have it on may just assume it is. Some pilots (especially those who announce it as part of their welcome) may check it when they get board, but I'm sure most don't.
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
Norcal773
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:09 pm

It's also worth noting that Legacy UA pilots turn it on more than CO pilots do so the A320s have a higher chance of it being on than the 737s.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 17):
It's also worth noting that Legacy UA pilots turn it on more than CO pilots do so the A320s have a higher chance of it being on than the 737s.

How many of the 737s even have the system installed?
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
AA737-823
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:29 pm

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 17):

It's also worth noting that Legacy UA pilots turn it on more than CO pilots do so the A320s have a higher chance of it being on than the 737s.

What??? NONE of the 737's are yet equipped with this feature, so you're correct in saying that more UA pilots use it, but you're NOT correct in your reasoning behind it.... nice try, though.
 
tommy767
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:40 pm

EWR-LAX on a ex-CO 764 had channel 9 on, PMUA 757 LAX-EWR also did as well. This was earlier this month.

Having said that, my other UA flights this year didn't have it on.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
DualQual
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 16):
It's also worth noting that Legacy UA pilots turn it on more than CO pilots do so the A320s have a higher chance of it being on than the 737s.

There are only like 1-3 L-CAL airplanes that have channel 9 and they are all 764's. Not one 737 has the system installed.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 19):
EWR-LAX on a ex-CO 764 had channel 9 on
There's no known cure for stupid
 
frosty328
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 14):
Lying does nothing, but we don't always give you the full story because its unnecessary information. An average passenger that hears "there's an issue with the fuel totalizer" translates that I to we're gonna run out of fuel and plummet to fiery death. If we just say "it's a gauge malfunction" we're still keeping pax informed but without raising false alarm. Let the pros do their job, as a paying passenger you deserve my utmost attention to safety and professionalism but that does not entitle you to know every detail of some issue that pops up. Occasionally ATC requires additional details for their own purposes. As far as projected wait times, you don't have the information available to you that the pilots do, so give the, the benefit of the doubt. Between their ATC interaction and the cabin address, things could've changed. I've had it happen. Perhaps there was a range (I.e. 5-10min) and they gave ATC a worst case scenario for planning purposes while remaining optimistic for the passengers. I wasn't there, and you weren't in the flight deck so jumping straight to the crew lying to you does you, or them no favors.

As far as channel 9 goes, it's Captain's discretion and in today's litigious society where people overreact to all things aviation and airlines happily sell their pilots down river I don't blame crews for keeping it turned off. I don't know UA's policy or protections on Ch 9 usage but if I were given the option to make ATC comms available for my passengers, I would do so happily as long as I had solid protection in the event things went south. My career isn't worth Ma or Pa Kettle suing me because I said something to ATC they misunderstood, misinterpreted or blow out of proportion.

GREAT POST! I couldn't agree with you more.
 
frosty328
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 15):
This actually brings up a good point. Earlier in the year, I flew a UA 747 HKG-SFO and where it was turned on from time we started taxiing but the pilot got into an argument with ground control in HKG after they asked UA to let an LH 744 go around us and take off then ATC tried to change take-off runway on UA which made the pilot very un-happy. Channel 9 was turned off for a few minutes while the argument continued (I assumed) because we sat there for 20 minutes while other planes went around us but they turned it back on right before take-off roll began. On the long flight to SFO, channel 9 was turned off over Japan Airspace but other than that it was on throughout. Good stuff, especially when we lined up to land on 28L at SFO with a company 757 lined up for 28R and ATC's warning not to pass the 757 and eventually had to do a go-around after the 747 couldn't slow down enough to stay behind the 757. LOVE Channel 9.

Channel 9 is tied into VHF #1. That's it. When you're overwater, the crew is communicating over HF, not VHF. Thats why you never heard anything for a long time.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:55 pm

PEK-ORD two weeks ago had it on...great way to pass the time 'though I couldn't understand much of what PEK's departure control was saying!
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
ADXMatt
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:24 pm

United does have a facebook page for Channel 9 buffs...

https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Airlines-Channel-9/122279311177994?ref=stream
 
ADXMatt
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 24):
United does have a facebook page for Channel 9 buffs...

The Facebook page is NOT run by United but someone who enjoys CH9
 
coairman
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:06 am

I flew a CO 737-8 from TPA to CLE today equipped with Direct TV. There is no channel 9 available yet. Channel 9 will probably will have to be integrated into the Direct TV channel programming. The programming skips channel 9.

I don't think UA has addressed when or how channel 9 will be added to PMCO aircraft.
The views I express are of my own, and not the company I work for.
 
dnguyen7078
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:16 pm

Way too many times that I fly to Asia and channel 9 did not get turn on so I bought one of the passive Airband monitor from Ramsey electronic and assembled it. It works awesome. But there is a problem. the unit will pick up all the frequencies within the aircraft radio bands simultaneously so it can be chaotic when everyone talk at the same time. I've include a link on Amazon where you can purchase it.... Enjoy!!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Ramsey-ABM1-Passive-Band-Monitor/dp/B000E8ONGU
Welcome to My World
 
Viscount724
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting dnguyen7078 (Reply 27):
Way too many times that I fly to Asia and channel 9 did not get turn on so I bought one of the passive Airband monitor from Ramsey electronic and assembled it. It works awesome. But there is a problem. the unit will pick up all the frequencies within the aircraft radio bands simultaneously so it can be chaotic when everyone talk at the same time.

I'm not aware of any airlines that permit use or personal radio receivers while inflight, assuming you are implying that you use it during flight rather than on the ground.
 
Norcal773
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 18):
What??? NONE of the 737's are yet equipped with this feature, so you're correct in saying that more UA pilots use it, but you're NOT correct in your reasoning behind it.... nice try, though.

Easy now, that I didn't know.. I assumed it is installed because it is an option on the CO's 737 when scrolling down the menu.

Quoting frosty328 (Reply 21):
GREAT POST! I couldn't agree with you more.

Not sure why I got quoted on this since I didn't write it but Ill take the credit  
Quoting frosty328 (Reply 22):
Channel 9 is tied into VHF #1. That's it. When you're overwater, the crew is communicating over HF, not VHF. Thats why you never heard anything for a long time.

Good to know.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
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antoniemey
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:35 am

I listened to Channel 9 for the first time on Wednesday night/Thursday Morning on UA315 from SFO to IAH.

It was interesting. The Captain actually made a point of mentioning it in his announcement to the passengers about flight time and such. When I tuned in, he was having a conversation with the ATC controller, it got a lot quieter later in the trip (being late at night, this didn't surprise me and I'd turned it on with that in mind, since I was reading for most of the flight).
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
 
VC10er
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:45 am

I fly United metal a lot, 55 flights this year so far, (mostly heavy international) and not once was Ch9 on. Yesterday I was on a lovable old 767 clunker from FRA to IAD. Still painted in shades of blue (with big beautiful tulips) and I thought for sure it would have Ch9 and once again NO CHANEL 9.

The feedback noise on Ch9, for me, is like Rapsody in Blue, a real United trademark.

How come United is the only airline I know of that has "From the flight deck"?
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting dnguyen7078 (Reply 27):

Way too many times that I fly to Asia and channel 9 did not get turn on so I bought one of the passive Airband monitor from Ramsey electronic and assembled it. It works awesome. But there is a problem. the unit will pick up all the frequencies within the aircraft radio bands simultaneously so it can be chaotic when everyone talk at the same time. I've include a link on Amazon where you can purchase it.... Enjoy!!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Ramsey-ABM1-Passive-Band-Monitor/dp/B000E8ONGU

Looking at the pic on Amazon with the transistors showing, I can see TSA misunderstanding what that thing is and giving someone an up close and personal inspection
  
 
Norcal773
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:03 pm

So I just got off a UA A320 IAH-SMF and no channel 9.

looking at the United Magazine, the menu says channel 9 'from the flight deck' is available on UA birds except al variants of 737s.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
ADXMatt
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:28 am

Ch9 is installed on sCO B767-400's when they get the modification to lie flat seats and AVOD.

I'm not sure if the pilot group has approved it's use yet.
 
United1
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:23 am

It was on on my A320 flight from EWR-MCO last week....I haven't heard it on any of my P.S. flights in a while.

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 34):
Ch9 is installed on sCO B767-400's when they get the modification to lie flat seats and AVOD.

Wonder when they will roll it out to the sCO 757/777s?
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
CONTACREW
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:29 am

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 34):

Ch9 is installed on sCO B767-400's when they get the modification to lie flat seats and AVOD.

I'm not sure if the pilot group has approved it's use yet.

One A.netter here, Tommy767 I believe mentioned CH9 being turned on his recent EWR - LAX, or was it LAX - EWR (I forget which) 764 flight.
Flight Attendants prepare doors for departure, cross check verify straps standby for all call
 
dnguyen7078
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:50 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 28):
Quoting dnguyen7078 (Reply 27):
Way too many times that I fly to Asia and channel 9 did not get turn on so I bought one of the passive Airband monitor from Ramsey electronic and assembled it. It works awesome. But there is a problem. the unit will pick up all the frequencies within the aircraft radio bands simultaneously so it can be chaotic when everyone talk at the same time.

I'm not aware of any airlines that permit use or personal radio receivers while inflight, assuming you are implying that you use it during flight rather than on the ground.

It's a passive band so there is no frequency tuning. Therefore it pass for use in flight.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 32):
Looking at the pic on Amazon with the transistors showing, I can see TSA misunderstanding what that thing is and giving someone an up close and personal inspection
  

I've been using it for 4 months now through SFO and LAX. Had no issue with it yet.
Welcome to My World
 
turk0167
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:25 pm

I've had 10 United flights this year. Channel 9 was turned on 0 times!
 
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DesertFlyer
Topic Author
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:35 pm

First I would like to apologize for starting this thread in a bit of an angry mood. UA have always safely delivered me where I need to go. It's too bad that I've been ending up on flights without Ch 9 enabled, but it's not the end of the world. It sounds like it's just luck of the draw.

Thanks to all the UA pilots out there who leave it turned on for us nuts in the back of the plane! I can remember flying UA Shuttle as a kid SMF-LAX-PHX and was completely inspired. Kudos to UA for even having the feature.
 
calpilot
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:49 pm

Quoting frosty328 (Reply 22):
Channel 9 is tied into VHF #1. That's it. When you're overwater, the crew is communicating over HF, not VHF. Thats why you never heard anything for a long time.

You are correct that it is tied to VHF1. However, we use that radio for air to air communications; and written policy is to turn off Chnl9 during that period for that reason.
 
tommy767
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:52 pm

Quoting CONTACREW (Reply 36):

You are correct sir. A reconfigured 764 on EWR-LAX indeed had channel 9 on when I switched the AVOD to the moving map screen. However these are likely the only ex-CO aircraft that have channel 9.

LAX-EWR had channel 9 on as well but that was a PMUA 757.

[Edited 2012-09-30 11:54:13]
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
calpilot
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:54 pm

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 34):
I'm not sure if the pilot group has approved it's use yet.

Yes, we in the -400 community can use it as is comes online.

Quoting United1 (Reply 35):
Wonder when they will roll it out to the sCO 757/777s?

It has been told to us that in future aircraft MX overhauls, it will be addressed.
 
CONTACREW
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:50 am

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 41):
You are correct sir. A reconfigured 764 on EWR-LAX indeed had channel 9 on when I switched the AVOD to the moving map screen. However these are likely the only ex-CO aircraft that have channel 9.

Correct so far only the reconfigured 764s have CH9.
Flight Attendants prepare doors for departure, cross check verify straps standby for all call
 
tozairport
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RE: United Channel 9 - Why Never Used?

Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:50 am

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 13):
As far as channel 9 goes, it's Captain's discretion and in today's litigious society where people overreact to all things aviation and airlines happily sell their pilots down river I don't blame crews for keeping it turned off. I don't know UA's policy or protections on Ch 9 usage but if I were given the option to make ATC comms available for my passengers, I would do so happily as long as I had solid protection in the event things went south. My career isn't worth Ma or Pa Kettle suing me because I said something to ATC they misunderstood, misinterpreted or blow out of proportion.

After my second FAA investigation regarding what a passenger thought they heard on channel 9 versus what actually happened, for me it is off forever. To the poster that thought that ALPA would have never approved it if UAL did not offer any protections I'll tell you this, UAL does not offer any protections. When I got investigated and called my flight office for help, all I got was crickets chirping. The third and final strike was when I heard my voice on youtube after someone on my flight was recording channel 9. It wasn't even an interesting exchange but no other profession exposes themselves to that kind of risk. It was a great idea, but in this day and age a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch. I'm done with it.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.